When looking back over 2017, former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler is more opt to discuss how things developed in his personal life as opposed to his professional one.
For Chandler, last year was one of great change, and he couldn’t be happier with how things turned out and what that will lead to in his 2018.
“2017 was a great year and honestly was the best year of my life,” Chandler told MMAWeekly.com. “I built a beautiful home in Nashville with my beautiful wife. I signed a lease on a gym in Nashville. I adopted a son.
Though Chandler’s sole fight in 2017 was a loss to Brent Primus at Bellator 180 in June that cost him his lightweight title, it’s not a defeat he feels detrimental to him because of how it ended.
“I had an (ankle) injury that in three people’s mind – the ref and the two cage side doctors – said I wasn’t fit to compete,” said Chandler. “A lot of people probably though that.
“I was 100-percent confident I was going to knock (Primus) out on one leg. I dropped him and knocked him down on one leg and wanted to continue beat him up on one leg. It’s a freak accident. It’s a freak thing. And that’s it. I have no problem taking an L like that. It’s no big deal.”
Chandler (16-4) will look to get back on track when he takes on Goiti Yamauchi (22-3) in a main card 155-pound bout at Bellator 192 on Saturday in Los Angeles.
“He’s a puzzle we’ve got to solve,” Chandler said of Yamauchi. “He’s dangerous in numerous positions. He’s good on his feet. He’s very solid on the ground. But he’s never stepped into the cage with a man like me. Not even close.
“I’ve just got to go out there and fight like I know I can, and I will come out not just victorious, but extremely dominant.”
With his personal life flourishing, Chandler is only looking to stay active in his fighting career and face the best possible competition he can in 2018.
“I never try to think about the next move after this one,” said Chandler. “But I will say I want the biggest fights possible. I don’t care about the title. I don’t care about labels. I don’t care about anything besides challenges and big names to step into the cage with.
“There are decent names in this organization that I would love to step into the cage and tangle with. I just want to fight the biggest fights I can.”